Arminas Jasikonis had been racing the German ADAC championship when he caught the eye of Team Suzuki World MXGP General Manager Stefan Everts, looking for a replacement rider for the injured Ben Townley. Here, the Lithuanian tells his story, from the time his MX career began to his first weeks with the Suzuki factory team.
I started motocross when I was just four years old; actually I got a bike for my birthday that year. The first ride was not such a good one, I was scared of the bike, but after a couple of weeks I was going crazy for it and I just wanted to ride. At that time, I still had training wheels so I could not fall over and of course all I did was ride my bike. It had always been my dad’s dream to race motocross, but we were not a rich family and it was not working for him. So after some time, he made some money and got me a small bike. In 2001, I rode my first race when I was just five years old.
When I was 12, I made the move to Estonia, where I was living and training with Avo Leok. I went to school there for a year to learn Russian, but I always wanted to become a pro motocross rider. So I entered the 85cc European Championship. It was a good first season for me. Unfortunately, at the end of it I broke my leg. However, I still managed to finish third overall that year. Then after two more years of training in Estonia, we moved to Belgium.
Now I have been living in Belgium for three years, training professionally and trying to get to the top. I just wanted to make it to the top. When my manager told me that Stefan Everts was interested in me, I could not believe it, it was crazy! It was all finally happening for me. I could not believe it until I rode the first time with the Suzuki RM-Z450. Then it became a reality, I was a Suzuki Factory rider.
Little by little, training by training, I became very impressed with the bike. It’s so light and powerful at the same time and the suspension really works. I could not believe it. It was such a big difference for me. My weeks with the team have been good so far, everyone is really nice and truly professional. For the first time, I’m working with so many people around me, guys for the suspension, for the engine, … but, I actually don’t need many changes. I’m so happy with the Suzuki RM-Z450 and haven’t got anything to complain about.
My first MXGP race under the Suzuki was at the MXGP of Czech Republic. I’m now really looking forward to this weekend’s race at Lommel. I’m excited and I, for sure, want to do well.